Monday, October 14, 2013

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's Thanksgiving weekend for us Canadian folks. The time of year when we gorge on turkey and stuffing, make nice with our families and unbutton our pants while the tryptophan washes over us and puts us to sleep. (Alright, that's actually a myth. Turkey has less tryptophan than many other commonly eaten food, egg white, for instance. The post turkey day drowsiness is more likely caused by over eating, alcohol and the work up to the whole ordeal.)

Thanksgiving has not traditionally been a big deal around our house. For about the last 10 years we've celebrated it some years and others not so much. Since we're not farmers and don't need to celebrate a bountiful harvest we choose to be thankful every single day of the year for the gifts we've been blessed with instead of focusing all that thanks on one day.

But this year we're doing the whole turkey thing.

No, wait. I'M doing the whole turkey thing.

See, something occurred to me. I'm 40 years old and I've NEVER cooked a large family dinner. This would be because in all the years of Christmas', Thanksgivings,  and Easters dinner has been handled by either Sean or my mom. And though I try to help I get shooed out of the kitchen. And then I get stuck with the dishes later. Lucky me.

So this year I put my foot down and said I'm cooking dinner. All of it. (Okay, not the peas pudding because that should be left to the experts so my brother in law will take care of that for me)  I'm cooking the turkey, potato, sweet potato, broccoli, carrots, cabbage, brussel spouts, gravy and stuffing. Me.


Wish me luck!!

And for all of my Canadian readers....Happy Thanksgiving.

For all of my American readers....happy Sunday. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tasty Tuesday's Return - Tomato and Pepper Chicken

You read that right. Contain your excitement. I know, it's hard but I'm bringing Tasty Tuesdays back. You wanna know why? Because I love food. (Hence the reason for the second half of my post yesterday....)

Also because I have that super awesome app, SnapRecipes and I screwed something up and managed to delete every single recipe I had stored in there. On my iPad and my iPhone. Yup. literally hundreds. Gone. And the joke is on me because in my I-hate-clutter-and-I'm-not-going-to-take-it-anymore purge-fest I threw out all the paper copies.

I know.

So the other day I wanted to make my Zesty Lime Chicken but I didn't have the recipe. And then a stroke of genius hit me and I checked right here on my little ol' blog and sure enough....there it was.

Back-up. Suhweet!

Anyhow, enough babbling....
Today's mouth watering recipe....Tomato and Pepper Chicken

I love chicken breast but I'm also lazy so I buy boneless skinless chicken breast. It's faster and healthier but it can also be bland as hell and dry.

But not this way.

Tomato and Pepper Chicken


5 chicken breasts (yes 5, I have a family of 5 so all my recipes are for 5. You can adjust to suit you)
1 large can stewed tomatoes (I like getting the Alymer ones because they make them in different 'flavours' like chili or Italian style)
2 bell peppers
4 stalks of celery
1 cup of white wine

Slice your peppers and celery (I like to do mine in big chunks.)

Put the chicken breast in a baking dish, and cover with all the other ingredients. Bake at 350 until cooked thoroughly.

I usually serve this on a bed of brown rice. And I usually don't make a veggie to go with it because it's chalk full of veggies anyway. The chicken will be so tender and moist and flavourful.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

And don't forget - cooked tomatoes contain  lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that lowers your risk of heart disease and certain cancers. Delicious and healthy!


Monday, October 7, 2013

I'm At It Again

I don't have to look at my calendar to know it's October. All I have to do is look at the stats and live feed for my blog. I've got an influx of visitors again because it's breast cancer awareness month and with that comes those insanely ridiculous Facebook games that pissed me off 2 years ago and led to the post that made my blog explode. To date over 20,000 have viewed that post.  I'm wondering how many of them still went along with the FB thing. And of all the people who went along with the FB games over the years - I'm 14 weeks and craving M & M's, hearts in your profile picture, fruits, bra colour.....  I wonder how many of those people took the time to actually educate themselves on breast cancer? Everyone is aware of it. I was aware of it before I had it. But what did I actually know about it? Jack Shit, that's what.

I know a lot now. More than I ever wanted to. And as I survivor I feel like it's in part, my responsibility to help educate others. So, forgive me, if every now and then I drop statistics on you - like the 5 year survival rate for breast cancer victims is 88% but early detection is key. Or that breast cancer doesn't always present as a lump.

I saw this a while ago - ironically on FB - and I thought it was great for visual people like myself.  This is the source.

A: Hardening
B : Pinching
C: Erosion
D: Red & Hot
E: New fluid
F: Dimpling
G: puckering
H: Growing vein
I: Nipple retraction
J: Asymmetry
K: Orange skin
L: Invisible lump

If you want to share something on Facebook to raise breast cancer awareness....share that!

Anyhow, off my soapbox because that's not why I came here today. I came here to talk about my fat ass.

I quit smoking 10 years ago and since that time I've put on upwards of 40 lbs. In fact, I recall my weight when Mary was 12 weeks old (a mere 10.5 years ago) I weigh 52 lbs more now than I did then. Disgusting. Shameful. And just plain nasty. I don't want to be the fat girl.

I can blame it on quitting smoking. I can blame it on the stress I was under in 'The Year from Hell' aka 2006. I can blame it on the steroids from cancer treatments. Or I can own it. I eat. A lot. Too much. Of all the wrong things.

It's not that I don't know how to portion control. I do. I know what a proper, adult sized portion of any given food is. I just CHOOSE to eat more.

I know that chips, chocolate bars and chicken wings are not part of a healthy diet (though an occasional treat is okay - but occasional is once a month, not twice a week)

I know alcohol wreaks havoc on blood sugar. But I still choose to drink it.

I also know that my chances of having a recurrence of cancer are increased because I am overweight. I also know my chances of a heart attack or stroke are increased. Remember - heart disease and stroke are problems in my family.  I know that my chances of developing diabetes are very real.

I also know that my self esteem, while elevating because I once again have two breasts - is still very much in the toilet because I see how I look in pictures (amazingly enough not the same as look in a mirror. How does that happen?)

I joined the gym again today. I'm committed to going EVER OTHER DAY. < -----You see that? I'm committing to you (and myself) EVER OTHER DAY. NO EXCUSES!! (well, recovery from my next surgery is the only excuse I'll allow but as soon as I'm allowed to return to work I'll also be back at the gym)

I'm not going to try any great feats this time. No couch to 5k. No power lifting (not that I ever did that) Just a steady regime of cardio and weight training.

And I'm going to start tracking my food again with my fitness pal app. It will keep me honest and motivated to make better choices.

I don't want to be the fat girl. Plain and simple.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

A New Me.

I'm sure I offered a money back guarantee in my last post...but only if this post wasn't interesting. Well folks, get ready to be interested.....

School has been in for going on 5 weeks now and I've got to say this is by far the best year I've had. I don't want to jinx it - it is still early and we've got 9 more months of it to go but my class this year is amazing, even with a few kids who need that little extra love. My partner and I are working like a well oiled machine, which for those of you who are keeping track will know, is huge.

You see, I've done some soul searching since my last ramble. I've not been happy with the person I was becoming. I found it incredibly strange that I was a happier person when I was fighting cancer than I was just a few weeks ago, perfectly healthy. How can that be? How was I happier when I was hairless, in pain, addicted to Percocet and scared I wouldn't live?

I don't know. Frankly I have no answer for that question. Maybe it was the Percocet? Maybe it was that my fear that I would not live had me trying my best to really live. Maybe it was because I felt I had a fight to live.

And yet, now, I have my dream job, my perfect children, my amazing husband, a supportive family and good health and a new boob and yet I'm a miserable sucky bitch. I felt sorry for myself because my 40th birthday came and went without much ado. I was really looking forward to my 40th. A HUGE milestone in my eyes, not just because it was 40 but because I made it to 40. For a while I wasn't sure I would. But it went by, almost like any other day. I had a small get together a week later with my brothers and in-laws but timing was off and finding a date in which everyone I love could come was hard. I think it's still a bit of a sore spot with me.

But one day I just decided to change my attitude. I'm not going to bitch and complain about the shitty aspects of my job, I'm going to embrace the challenges of it. I'm not going to think about what cancer took from me, I'm going to think about what it gave me. I'm not going to feel sorry for myself because my ass continues to spread, I'm going to get off the fat thing, go back to the gym and try to lose this fucking weight.

I feel lighter now. I feel less stressed. I feel less angry. I am excited about life.

This past July, before my surgery we went to Florida. I can't believe I didn't write about this before.

None of us have ever been there. A friend of ours was so generous in letting us use her timeshare down there so we packed up the van and the kids and we set off on an adventure. We spent 4 days driving, stopping in each State along the way to take pictures, get souvenirs and sleep. And then we spent 7 glorious days in Florida, soaking up the sun, visiting Universal Orlando (the kids weren't interested in going to Disney) going on a swamp boat ride, eating alligator, and I even got to scratch another PP mom off my list of people to hug in real life.

On the way home we stopped in Georgia for a couple of days to visit my Aunt and Uncle and saw went to the Georgia Aquarium.

We went places and did things we've never done before - as a family. We had fun. There was no bickering or complaining. We relaxed....truly relaxed for the first time in 2 years.

When I'm starting to feel the stresses of my life piling up on me I think about that trip, about sitting out on the balcony at night, listening to the strange bird noises and frogs. I think about how much I loved our after dinner swims. I think about how exciting the swamp boat ride was and how beautiful the scenery was. And how free I felt.

And then I remember - there is no reason I shouldn't feel like that Every. Single. Day.

And so, the new me is here. Now don't go thinking I'm going to be all rainbows and lollipops. There will be no unicorns flying out of my ass but I know what's important. And it's time to be happy.

And just for those of you who aren't friends of mine on's some of my more favorite pics from our trip to Florida.

This was the view from the dock leading to the swamp boat tour. We did ours with a company called Wild Florida Airboats. They were AMAZING and if you're going to Orlando I highly recommend them.

This was scenic lookout in Virginia (or possibly West Virginia - I don't remember which)

This was at the Georgia Aquarium.

This was also at the swamp boat place. I loved the cypress trees.

Not a bad pic for an iPhone huh? It's that scenic lookout again.